Home Tour: Carla Benedettis Eclectic Sandymount Space
When decorating a home, we often steer towards the conventional white walls and bright spaces, but not Carla Benedetti, who has an eclectic and dynamic vision that we only wish we were brave enough to run with. Her Sandymount home is cosy, contemporary, with vintage touches that compliment the original Georgian features. She added a heart-meltingly beautiful extension to the back of the house; it’s floor to ceiling windows flood the kitchen-come-dining room with light and give a smooth transition to allow for indoor/outdoor living. We caught up with Carla to find out about her interior inspiration and love of inky tones.
1. How did you get into interior design?
Well I’ve always been in design, I’ve done graphic design for years, and when I did this house I started thinking, I actually really enjoy doing this. It was always a passion but when this was finished it got picked up by a few house magazines and my friends started recommending me for interior design so it just stemmed from there then. I guess it’s just a more creative aspect for me, which was stifled by the whole celtic tiger time, and monetary issues for clients that encouraged me to go with it.
2. What is it you love about interiors?
What made me love it initially was probably the freedom of my creative side. With the graphic design, I always have to stick to a brief for clients, but with the interiors, I’m able to really challenge myself and that creativity. I love everything about it, I love textures and putting things together and finding things. I love the fact that I can do things that aren’t traditional, and that challenges me quite a bit too, and when people love it, that makes it even better for me.
3. When you were starting to design this space, where did you begin?
Well when I see a space I have a good idea of what I would do to it. With this place I just started buying pieces that I knew were going to work with the style I wanted to achieve, not necessarily where I would put them but I knew they’d fit. So it was really then the collection and the things I was finding that pushed the look of the place.
4. Where did you get your design inspiration from?
Well in the house, there wasn’t much in the original structure to take inspiration from. There was the high ceilings, and the classical proportions of a period house, which lends itself to a good base for doing nice things to. Upstairs I wanted it to be a bit more stylish and sophisticated, and downstairs would be a little more contemporary and eclectic. I looked through blogs and books to get more ideas but often I just tend to get an idea in my head and want to do it!
5. What were the biggest challenges of this house?
There was a lot of damp, which ate into a good bit of money. We had to put a supporting wall at the front of the house because there was so much damp in the roof. We also had to re-do a lot of the building work so there was an awful lot of money seemingly wasted on that.
6. What’s your favourite part of it?
Well, I actually love the garden, so in the kitchen is probably my favourite space because you can see out to it. In the evenings the sun comes around and fills this whole area, so it’s hard not to like this area the most.
7. You use a lot of dark tones in the house – how would you encourage people to bring this into their home?
I love dark tones that are richer and inkier, I think they work better in any space. You could introduce these colours slowly, like just paint one wall as a feature or even introduce it through furniture first to see how it looks. I would always say to clients, lets just paint the one wall first, live with it for a couple of days and see what you think. Just be brave and play with it. It’s like anything, if you don’t try it you won’t know if you’ll like it!
8. Where are your favourite places to shop interiors?
I like Abigail Ahern, she was probably the first places I looked for stuff for here. I love Rocket St George as an online shop, they have a huge amount of choice. I like Industry in Drury St, that’s where my desk is from upstairs. DUST have nice stuff, they stock a lot of brands that I would know and shop as well. And then Kirk Modern is great for mid-century. I’ve got a good few pieces off him, lamps and clocks and he has really nice furniture.
9. What’s next on the design horizon for you?
Well after this house was on Home of the Year, I had a lot of people contacting me for interior design work so I’ll be concentrating on them next. I’m doing a jewellery shop down in Wicklow as well and also their branding, so that’s nice to be able to marry the two.
If you would like Carlas interior stamp on your home, check out carlabenedetti.com for more information. Want your home featured? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Photos by Drop In The Ocean Photography